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Cherry-Chocolate Scones

Yield:16 scones
Cherry and chocolate is one of my many favorite flavor combinations. These scones from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book are packed with dried cherries and chunky chocolate and are an indulgence you can feel pretty good about. After all, what better way to start your day than with antioxidants from the cherries and chocolate and the goodness of whole grains combined in the treat of a hot scone? If you make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the freezer, you can have a hot scone for breakfast nearly any day of the week!

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried cherries (I use tart/sour cherries)
3/4 cup chocolate chunks or chips
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
milk, for brushing the tops
coarse sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. Using a fork or pastry blender or a mixer with a paddle attachment, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the cherries and chocolate and stir with a fork just to mix them in.

4. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and stir lightly and quickly with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead two or three times.

6. Divide the dough in half and pat each into a circle about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

7. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet. Brush each with a little milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

8. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the scones are puffed and golden. Serve warm.

To freeze unbaked scones:
If you don't want to bake all the sonces right away, you can freeze them for later. After dividing the dough into 16 wedges, freeze the scones on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Once they're frozen, put them into a freezer storage bag. When you want to bake them, take as many scones as you want to eat out of the freezer when you start to preheat the oven. Proceed from step 7 above. Frozen scones may need to be baked 3-5 minutes longer than unfrozen ones.